The Writers Bureau Short Story Competition 2019
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The Runner-up of 2016 Flash Fiction Competition

Maxine Sinclair

3rd Prize

Maxine Sinclair

"Earlier in the year I finished writing my first novel, 'Dixbury Does Talent' and I found that I wasn't ready to start writing a second book. I saw the Flash Fiction competition and found creating a story with under five hundred words a really enjoyable challenge. I'm thrilled to win third prize and this will spur me on to write more short pieces. †Thank you Writers Bureau for the inspiration!"

Blind Date

As he returns to the table with our drinks I have the chance to study him. He's not bad looking, quite presentable really, in a 'normal bloke' sort of way. I'm just still not convinced that this is what I need, but Christie, my best friend, believing that I need to 'get back in the saddle,' set us up.

"So you work with Christie, huh?" I ask him, covering common ground.

"I certainly do, and you're the best friend, aren't you?"

"I am."


"Look Billy, shall we cut through the small talk and save ourselves some time?" He nods, shifting forward in his seat with interest. "I will ask you three questions that I feel are deal breakers. If we're not compatible then we finish our evening and I can go home to a large chardonnay and 'Pets Do The Funniest Things.'"

"OK," he says, chuckling. "And I get to ask you three questions too?"

"Absolutely. In fact, be my guest, you go first."

He thinks for a moment.

"Do you watch soaps?"

"Nope." He appears relieved.

"Cats or dogs?"


"Do you eat proper food like a man or salads like a girl?"

"Proper food!" I laugh, rolling my eyes.

"I'm pleased to say you've passed with flying colours." His face breaks into the widest smile.

"OK, my turn...your politics?"

"More left than right," he replies.


"Each to their own."

"Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?"

He laughs in surprise.

"Smooth." He looks me in the eye. "How did I do?"

"Two out of three."

"Do I qualify?"

"Nope sorry – it was all or nothing."

As I reach for my bag his face drops. I turn back and smile.

"But I don't mind meeting you again to give you feedback."

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